113 World Building Prompts for Creating the Supernatural

These world building prompts come from 3000 World Building Prompts, which you can get at Amazon. This section is focused on creating the supernatural.

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The following prompts apply to all supernatural elements.

  1. What is the name of this supernatural element?
  2. Does it have a nickname?
  3. Is a nickname based on appearance or effect?
  4. Are you inventing magic, radiation, a divine power, a place, or something else?
  5. Does anyone or anything have natural immunity or resistance to its effects?
  6. Is this a supernatural creature?
  7. If so, from where did it originate?
  8. What about it is supernatural?
  9. What is it based on?
  10. Are there supernatural beings besides gods, such as demigods?
  11. If so, how do they relate to the gods or other beings?
  12. Are there magic doorways or paths to get between places? What are they called?
  13. How dangerous are they?
  14. Who invented them?
  15. What precautions do people take before using them?
  16. Are they guarded and by what?
  17. Do alternate realities exist?
  18. If so, how do characters move between them?
  19. Are familiars part of this setting?
  20. How prevalent is the supernatural?

Supernatural Energies

These additional prompts are related to energies.

  1. Is this energy widely available?
  2. Must it be channeled?
  3. Does it need to be contained, or should it be?
  4. What happens if it isn’t?
  5. What happens to those who come in contact with it?
  6. Are those who can harness it physically taxed?
  7. Is special training required to manipulate it?
  8. Is special equipment required to control it?
  9. To capture or harness it?
  10. Is the energy only found in one place?
  11. Are its locations guarded and by what/who?
  12. Who arranged for its protection?
  13. Is the guard still active or has it failed and what happened?
  14. What does the energy look like?
  15. Is it visible with the naked eye?
  16. If not, what is required to see it?
  17. Does it make a sound?
  18. Does the energy give off a temperature?
  19. Can people feel the energy and from how far away?
  20. What does it feel like?
  21. Are any senses heightened or muted by it?
  22. If there is a duration to this phenomenon, how long does it last?
  23. Is there any sign that it’s about to happen or end?
  24. is there any predictable pattern or phase?
  25. Is the intensity constant or in flux?
  26. Did this originate from an accident? What happened?
  27. Did someone create this on purpose? Who and why?
  28. What incidents have happened with this energy?
  29. Which incidents are unknown or famous?
  30. Did this energy cause anything to happen, like the creation of a monster?
  31. Can this energy be used as a weapon?
  32. If so, who figured that out and invented one?
  33. Is the first use of this as a weapon famous? When was it and what happened?
  34. Is there only one such weapon or has it been replicated, and by who?
  35. What defenses exist against this?
  36. Can this energy be used to power items, including vessels?

Supernatural Lands

These additional prompts are related to lands.

  1. What is this place called?
  2. How easy/difficult is it to reach this place?
  3. Is something magical or technological needed to reach it?
  4. Is it in normal space/time?
  5. Where is it located?
  6. How does one get there?
  7. Is it protected or guarded?
  8. Is special equipment needed to survive being there?
  9. Is access to it guarded and by what/who?
  10. What arranged for its protection?
  11. Is the guard still active or has it failed and what happened?
  12. Does sight work differently here?
  13. Are sounds changed in any way?
  14. Is there a particular scent?
  15. How does the place feel?
  16. Is the temperature different?
  17. What is the atmosphere like?
  18. Is the air breathable here?
  19. Are any senses heightened or muted while here?
  20. Is this land permanent or does it come and go?
  21. Is access to it permanent?
  22. Did someone like the gods create this land? Who did it and why?
  23. Was it the result of an accident?
  24. Is it a naturally occurring place?
  25. What is the purpose of this place if it has one?
  26. Do definable regions or areas exist inside this land?
  27. Is the land big enough for settlements and do any exist?
  28. Does anyone or anything permanently live here?
  29. Is this resident a native, or did they come from somewhere else?
  30. What kind of person voluntarily lives here?
  31. Does anyone involuntarily live here?
  32. If so, is it because they cannot escape?
  33. Are they a prisoner and of who or what?
  34. Does anyone or anything rule this land?
  35. If so, from where does their power to do so originate?
  36. Has it always been the same person?
  37. Does this individual have others working for them?
  38. If so, what people or creatures do so?
  39. How are they ruled and commanded? What gives the leader the ability to make them obey?
  40. If there is a settlement or building here, does it always stay in the same place, or can it move?
  41. If it can move, what causes this to happen?
  42. Is the new destination random or chosen and by who or what?
  43. Is there any pattern to the movements?
  44. Are there animals found here and are they different?
  45. Are the plants different?
  46. Are there plants or animals that are only found here?
  47. If so, what parts of them can be used for either magic or technology?
  48. How valuable are these materials?
  49. How hard are these materials to acquire?
  50. Are these materials forbidden anywhere?
  51. Is there a black market for them?
  52. Do people come here specifically to harvest them?
  53. How old is this place?
  54. What noteworthy events have taken place here in the past?
  55. In what ways did those events affect the current state?
  56. Is it expected that this place will cease to exist at some point?
  57. If so, what is going to cause that?
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